North Coast CNPS

Past events


New site for our native plant nursery

The chapter’s nursery group is very excited to announce our move to the Old Freshwater Farms Nursery site, now owned by the Northcoast Regional Land Trust and renamed the Freshwater Farms Reserve, located at 5851 Myrtle Ave. (or Old Arcata Road). This recent move enables us to make many improvements to our operation including: a much needed 1800 square foot hoop house in which to grow our starts; a protected space in which to work when it rains; additional outdoor space for our plants with an easier configuration for our volunteers who water and the opportunity, for the first time, for year round sales of our plants on site at the Kneeland Glen Farm Stand, open daily 12-6. In the event that you don’t see on our plant display a specific plant(s) that you are looking for, please contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with what plant(s) species you want and we will get back to you as to whether or not we have it or if it will be available at our next plant sale.

In the future, we will also be putting in display garden beds to showcase how to incorporate native plants in landscaping. We also hope to be able to offer workshops and classes on a variety of potential topics.

We continue to have regularly scheduled workdays at our nursery on Wednesdays from 10 - 1.  Hope to see you at our new nursery location!


 Chapter Plant Sales

The North Coast Chapter holds plant sales twice a year.  The spring plant sale is the first weekend in May held in conjunction with the Spring Wildflower Show at the Jefferson Community Center, 1000 B Street, Eureka. In 2018 it will be on May 5th and May 6th. The fall plant sale is held in September on the Saturday after the North Country Fair at our nursery location. We offer a CNPS member only pre-sale at our fall sale.

At our plant sales you can purchase a wide variety of native annuals (spring sale only), perennials, bulbs, grasses, ferns, shrubs and trees.  Plants are suitable for a wide variety of natural and human habitats as well as providing food and shelter for birds, insects and bees.

We provide experienced growers, gardeners and botanists to assist you in choosing plants to meet your gardening/landscaping needs and to help answer your questions. We have reference books available for use and educational materials on hand to further assist gardeners who want to incorporate native plants into their landscapes.

Bring the beauty of Humboldt's forests, meadows and dunes to your garden as well as other California native species! All proceeds benefit the North Coast Chapter and it's activities. For more information contact Chris Beresford 707 826-0259 or at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


A plant list for the Spring 2018 sale. (You will need Adobe Reader.)   List will be posted as we get closer to the spring plant sale date.

CNPS thanks Mad River Gardens Nursery in helping us to keep our costs down by enabling us to purchase pallets of potting soil, pots and flats at reduced cost. Support them, because they support us.




" PLANT PROPOGATION PROGRAM AND NURSERY NEEDS VOLUNTEERS" help propagate and grow native plants for our chapter's plant sales.

The nursery volunteers work every Wednesday from 10 - 1 at the nursery site, other days as needed. On our workdays at the nursery we work on starting new plants from seeds or cuttings, transplant seedlings into larger containers, wash and sterilize all containers that we put the plant starts in, clean up the nursery site, trim and weed the plants, water and feed plants, as well as other activities to get ready for the upcoming sales.

The Chapter is always working on increasing the number of species of plants that we grow for our plant sales. Volunteers are needed to collect seed in the wild for the nursery crew to propagate and grow. If you can provide collected seed, please clean it, indicate where and when you collected it and either drop it off at the nursery location at our during our work time, or contact Chris as below.

We have also been doing dig and divides from community members established landscapes and potting up seedlings or divisions from those landscapes that we obtain for later sales. If you have a landscape that can provide such plants, contact Chris.

If you have time to volunteer to help start seeds, to transplant seedlings or help wash & sterlize 4" or 1-gallon pots, you can contribute to our chapter's biggest fund-raisers. To help out contact Chris Beresford, Nursery Manager, at 707 826-0259 or at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Please note: Please do not drop off containers at the nursery. We continue to get sizes that we do not use and we then have to dispose of them, thanks!

Books on Gardening with Native Plants

(compiled by members of the North Coast Chapter, CNPS)       February 2016

There are many books available on the native flora of this region, gardening with wildlife in mind, or developing a more sustainable approach. The list below represents some of the most current work on these subjects. All the books listed are available through the Humboldt County library system.

Bauer, Nancy. The California Wildlife Habitat Garden: How to Attract Bees, Butterflies, Birds, and Other Animals. University of California Press, 2012. Filled with tantalizing photographs, this book provides an inspiring overview of the “why” and “how” of wildlife habitat gardening as well as specific information on attracting birds, bees, butterflies, and other beneficial insects. The author advocates using a diversity of plants—predominately natives—combined with environmentally-friendly garden practices.

Bormann, F. Herbert, Diana Balmori, and Gordon T. Geballe. Redesigning the American Lawn, a Search for Environmental Harmony. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2001. Breathes new life into Rachel Carson. Includes a history of, and alternatives to, contemporary lawns.

Bornstein, Carol, David Fross, and Bart O'Brien. California Native Plants for the Garden. Los Olivos, CA: Cachuma Press, 2005. A comprehensive resource describing over 500 California native plants. Authored by leading native-plant horticulturists, this book covers landscape design, installation, and maintenance, includes 450 color photos, and contains information on where to view and purchase native plants.

Bornstein, Carol, David Fross, and Bart O'Brien. Reimagining the California Lawn: Water-Conserving Plants, Practices, and Designs. Los Olivos, CA: Cachuma Press, 2011. After a brief discussion of problems associated with lawns, the authors describe a variety of landscape alternatives such as meadows, rock gardens, succulent gardens, and edible gardens. The following section covers managing, reducing or removing lawns. The bulk of the book profiles a wide variety of drought-tolerant landscape plants—both native and non-native—and includes helpful lists of plants that are attractive to bees or hummingbirds; fast- or slow-growing; useful in coastal conditions; etc..

Francis, Mark and Andreas Reimann. The California Landscape Garden: Ecology, Culture and Design. University of California Press, 1999. An informative integration of garden design considerations and habitat types.

Keator, Glenn and Alrie Middlebrook. Designing California Native Gardens: The Plant Community Approach to Artful, Ecological Gardens.. University of California Press, 2007. Divided into 12 chapters based on communities of plants that naturally occur together. The book provides examples of conceptual and applied landscape designs for each community, including plant lists, descriptions and color photos, as well as practical advice for maintaining native gardens. Also includes a plant source list.

Pettinger, April. Native Plants in the Coastal Garden. Portland: Timber Press, 2003. An excellent guide for gardeners in coastal areas of the Pacific Northwest. Includes descriptions of plants and habitats, plant propagation techniques, natural plant combinations, and some design ideas.

Popper, Helen. California Native Gardening: A Month-by-Month Guide. University of California Press, 2012. Detailed information on sowing wildflower seeds and bulbs, planting, pruning, dividing, garden clean up, and dealing with pests on a month-by-month basis. A valuable reference, with good color photographs and vivid descriptions of native plants in bloom every month.

Robson, Kathleen A., Alice Richter, and Marianne Filbert. Encyclopedia of Northwest Native Plants for Gardens and Landscapes. Portland: Timber Press, 2008. This comprehensive reference—illustrated with nearly 600 color photographs and drawings—describes plants native to the Pacific Northwest. Discusses growing conditions, propagation, and much more.

Schmidt, Marjorie G., and Katherine L. Greenberg. Growing California Native Plants. University of California Press, 2012, 2nd ed. A recently-updated workhorse on native plant propagation and gardening in California.

Smith, M. Nevin. Native Treasures : Gardening With the Plants of California. University of California Press, 2006. Provides practical cultural advice on CA native plants, including propagation, and design suggestions for varied garden styles. Includes gorgeous color photos and line drawings.

Stark, Eileen M. Real Gardens Grow Natives. Seattle: Skipstone, 2014. Presents a strong case for using native plants to support birds, bees, butterflies, and other insects. Covers design considerations, site preparation, gardening practices, and plant propagation. The heart of the book is a portfolio of 100 garden-worthy Pacific Northwest native plants, with color photographs and useful information on the growth habit and wildlife value of each plant.

Tallamy, Douglas. Bringing Nature Home: How Native Plants Sustain Wildlife in our Gardens. Portland: Timber Press, 2007. A passionate treatise that explains why using native plants is not just a nice idea but crucially important for the survival of wildlife. A must read for native plant lovers and all gardeners.

Water Conservation Staff, East Bay Municipal Utility District. Plants and Landscapes for Summer-Dry Climates of the San Francisco Bay Region. Oakland: East Bay Municipal Utility District, 2004. Although written with the Bay area in mind, the information in this 320-page volume applies equally to other Mediterranean-climate areas. Enjoy striking color photos of both native and non-native plants in climate-appropriate garden settings, plant lists, charts, descriptions, and practical advice on water conservation.

Books for identification of native plants (and insects)

Baldwin, Bruce, convening ed. The Jepson Manual: Higher Plants of California. University of California Press, 2012. A technical reference for professional botanists, this comprehensive text is written for those with knowledge of botanical terminology. A bit heavy to tote into the field, it includes natives and common exotic weeds.

Haggard, Pete and Judy Haggard. Insects of the Pacific Northwest. Portland: Timber Press, 2006. Over 600 beautiful close-up photographs of more than 450 common insects and non-insect invertebrates highlight the natural history text in this introductory field guide written and photographed by local authors. A “must have.”

Horn, Elizabeth L. Coastal Wildflowers of the Pacific Northwest. Missoula, MT: Mountain Press Publishing Company, 1993. 200+ color photos of common wildflowers and flowering shrubs (including exotics and invasives) found along coastal British Columbia to Mendocino, CA. Organized by habitat, it allows beginners to identify plant communities.

Kauffmann, Michael E. Conifers of the Pacific Slope: California, Oregon, and Washington. Kneeland, CA: Backcountry Press, 2013. A field guide for identifying the conifers of the Pacific slope, including Idaho, Nevada, and parts of British Columbia and Baja California. Includes color plates and range maps for 65 conifer species. Produced in association with the North Coast Chapter of the California Native Plant Society and the Humboldt State University Redwood Science Project.

Lanner, Ronald M. Conifers of California. Los Olivos, CA: Cachuma Press, 1999. Beautiful color photos and illustrations bring our state’s 52 native cone-bearing trees and shrubs to life. Includes tips on identifying conifers both from a distance and up-close, as well as information on habitats, natural history, and state-wide distribution of species.

Pojar, Jim, and Andy MacKinnon. Plants of the Pacific Northwest Coast. Vancouver, BC: Lone Pine Publishing, rev. ed., 2004. Although described as a guide to plants found from British Columbia to Oregon, it applies equally well to our portion of the state. Includes photos of mosses, lichens, grasses, and aquatics, in addition to trees, shrubs and wildflowers, and their historical uses.

Stuart, John D., and John O. Sawyer. Trees and Shrubs of California. University of California Press, 2001. A California Natural History Field Guide to the more common native shrubs and trees of our state. Written for both amateur plant enthusiasts and professional botanists (some knowledge of botanical terminology is helpful). Includes vegetative keys, clear descriptions and illustrations, and sixteen pages of color photos. It’s also small enough to toss in a backpack.

Turner, Mark and Phyllis Gustafson. Wildflowers of the Pacific Northwest. Portland: Timber Press, 2006. This comprehensive field guide describes and illustrates 1,220 commonly-encountered species, both native and nonnative, including perennials, annuals, and shrubs. It encompasses the Pacific Northwest from southern British Columbia to northern California, from the coast to the mountains and high desert. Organized by flower color and shape, and including a range map for each plant described, it is as user-friendly as it is informative.

Young, Dorothy King. Redwood Empire Wildflowers. Happy Camp, CA:Naturegraph Publishers, 1989. This is a locally classic handbook of 132 wildflowers of the Redwood Empire listed alphabetically by common names, with scientific names following. A brief description of each flower identifies characteristics, size, habitat, and the general locality and time that the flower may be found. Additional information includes a short discussion on conservation of wildflowers and suggested wildflower trips.






Native Shrubs and Small Trees that Attract Wildlife

Compiled by Judy Hinman (9-00)

Native plants provide essential food, shelter, and nesting sites for a wide variety of wildlife and are also attractive features in the landscape.

   Alnus rubra (red alder)

   Amelanchier alnifolia (serviceberry)

   Arctostaphylos spp. (manzanita)

   Berberis nervosa (dwarf Oregon-grape)

   Cornus nuttallii (Pacific dogwood)

   Corylus cornuta var. californica (California hazel)

   Gaultheria shallon (salal)

   Lithocarpus densiflorus (tanoak)

   Myrica californica (Pacific wax myrtle)

   Oemleria cerasiformis (Indian-plum)

   Prunus emarginata (bitter cherry)

   Prunus virginiana (chokecherry)

   Rhamnus californica (California coffeeberry)

   Rhamnus purshiana (cascara buckthorn)

   Rubus spp. (blackberries, but not Himalaya-berry)

   Salix sp. (willows)

   Sambucus mexicana (blue elderberry)

   Sambucus racemosa (red elderberry)

   Symphoricarpos albus (snowberry)


Native Plants That Attract Hummingbirds

Compiled by Jennifer Kalt (3/97)

   Aquilegia formosa (crimson columbine)

   Castilleja spp. (Indian paintbrush)

   Delphinium nudicaule (red or orange larkspur)

   Dichelostemma ida-maia (firecracker plant)

   Epilobium canum (wild or hummingbird "fuchsia")

   Epilobium septentrionale (Humboldt "fuchsia")

   Ipomopsis aggregata (scarlet gilia or sky rocket)

   Keckiella corymbosa (red-flowered rock penstemon)

   Lonicera spp. (honeysuckle)

   Mimulus aurantiacus (Sticky monkey flower)

   Mimulus cardinalis (cardinal or scarlet monkeyflower)

   Pedicularis densiflora (Indian warrior)

   Penstemon spp. (penstemon or beardtongue)

   Rhamnus californica (coffee berry)

   Rhamnus purshiana (cascara sagrada)

   Rhododendron spp. (rhododendron)

   Rhododendron occidentale (western azalea)

   Ribes spp. (currents and gooseberries)

   Silene californica (catchfly or campion)

   Stachys spp. (hedge nettle)

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